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Redland - 1877 letter written from there - author unknown

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Redland - 1877 letter written from there - author unknown

Posted: 12 Mar 2012 11:00AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 12 Mar 2012 9:08PM GMT
Surnames: Bowles Downing
I am currently transcribing some family letters, one of which was written from Redland, Louisiana in January 1877. Sadly, the second page is missing, so we do not know who wrote it. The writer is from Alabama, and he writes of a very big snow of 25 inches that stayed on the ground for 2 weeks. He also describes a fire in an out building and that they were lucky it didn't spread to "the big house." My assumption is this might have been some kind of cotton "farm" or such. But I do not know.

I have tried to research this but have had little luck as I am a long way from LA. Does any of the above sound familiar to anyone? I know it's a shot in the dark, but I figured I'd ask.

Thank you.

UPDATE: Someone sent me a newspaper article from the Bossier Banner dated 4 Jan 1877 on the big snow fall. As a result, I can create the following timeline:

Thursday 28 Dec 1876 -- four inches of snow. That night, there is a fire in one of the outbuildings (destroying it).
Saturday/Sunday 30/31 Dec 1876 -- 15 to 25 inches of snow fall in Redland
Thursday 4 Jan 1877 -- article on snow in Bossier Banner

There is one man named in the letter, Bowles, whom I now believe (thanks to a researcher in LA) to be John A Bowles born in 1845/46 in Calhoun(formerly Benton) County, Alabama, who lived just a few miles down the road from the receipient of the letter. The writer, however, remains a mystery-- a man, probably single, who I suspect probably returned to Alabama as he is very homesick.

Incidentally, this part of Alabama was noted for a foundry and men mechanically inclined. Also, the farmers in the area did grow cotton. It is a small section of Calhoun County that is now the very northern portion of the Pelham Range. Towns include Polkville, Morrisville, Cane Creek, Peaceburg. The letter is addressed to J E Downing (I know who he is very well.)

If anyone can tell me anything about Redland at this time or knows of any fire on the night of 28 Dec 1876 in Redland, LA, please let me know. I'd very much appreciate it.

Thank you again.

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